Police are hunting for the driver of a car who careered across a village green in the middle of the night and demolished an historic parish pump.
The 150-year-old cast-iron pump - once the only source of water in the picturesque village of Monks Eleigh - was flattened by a black Ford Focus in a mystery crash which happened in the early hours of last Wednesday morning.
Resident Julian Bissett, who was on his way to work when he saw the damage, said: “The car was parked at an odd angle on the green and one of the doors was wide open. I went to investigate and saw that the car had smashed down the pump.”
Another villager said: “I heard a metallic crash at around 2.30am and thought that someone was trying to steal the barbecue from outside the Swan pub. But I looked and it was still there so I went back to sleep. It was only the next morning that I saw a police car by the green and realised what had really happened.”
The shattered pieces of the six-foot tall pump have now been taken by parish council veteran Don Reynolds to the forge at nearby Barking for repair but who pays for the work has yet to be settled.
Police say they have discounted the theory that the car was stolen and said their inquiries are on-going.
Meanwhile it is understood that a benefactor from the nearby village of Chelsworth has already pledged to pay for repairs – which could cost as much as £1,000.